Nielsen//NetRatings: At-Home Broadband Connections Cross 51%

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Broadband connections for the first time reached 51 percent of the U.S. online population at home during July, versus 38 percent in the same month last year.


According to Nielsen//NetRatings, New York, 63 million online users connected to the Internet last month through broadband access compared with 61.3 million using narrowband. In July 2003, 42.8 million connected via broadband versus 70.4 million using narrowband.


"What this is really pointing to is the fact that consumers are taking advantage of broadband, that there are lots of incentives for them to sign up for broadband," said Marc Ryan, Seattle-based senior director of analysis at Nielsen//NetRatings. "The opportunity here for marketers is to present customers with a richer environment to interact with advertising and with brands."


The Internet researcher said overall growth for higher-speed broadband connections grew 47 percent year over year, while narrowband plummeted 13 percent annually.


Nielsen//NetRatings defines broadband connections as including ISDN, cable modem and DSL access. Narrowband access includes modem speeds from 14.4k through 56k.


At-home broadband penetration was highest among those ages 2-34 versus the 35-and-older crowd.


Online users ages 18-20 had the highest penetration rate of broadband surfers at 59 percent, followed by children 2-11 at 58 percent. Those 25-34 produced a 55 percent rate, while those ages 12-17 had a 53 percent rate. The 35-49 group had 51 percent, and the 65-plus demographic bottomed out at 34 percent.


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